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Kant Paper- Why is the autonomy formula of the CI necessary?

Kant Paper Topics

Choose between topic 1 or 3

minimum of 92 lines (4 pages, double spaced), but not exceed 115 lines (5 pages).

Topic Three

Why is the autonomy formula of the CI (AF, so you don’t have to type it over and over) necessary?  What does the autonomy formula emphasize especially that the other expressions we discussed do not so much emphasize?  Kant appears to link freedom (autonomy) and moral action.  To be free (autonomous) is to be moral and to be moral is to be free.


a. In your intro paragraph, announce that you plan to show (1) what autonomy of the will (AW, so you don’t have to type it over and over) is and (2) why autonomy and morality are connected.  In the briefest way, state what autonomy of the will is and why autonomy and morality are essentially linked (this is your thesis).


b.  In your second paragraph, explain what a categorical imperative is and the features it possess (p. 24 [explain command of reason and imperative], 26, 29-30).  You must explain what the features mean.  This is not a book report where you merely repeat what Kant says.  Quote what Kant says and explain what it means.  Then quote the AF of the CI (p. 38) and explain (1) what it means and (2) why it possesses the features of the categorical imperative Kant discusses on p. 26 and 29-30.  You are required to do this because the AF is a way of expressing the CI.


c.  In your third paragraph, explain what AW (p. 39, 44) is and contrast it with what heteronomy of the will HW is (p. 39, 45).  If you really wish to impress, you will want to explain how AW and AF follows as a consequence of Kant’s definition of a person, i.e., how being a person (a “rational being”) already contains the idea of AW and AF.


d.  Finally, do morality and freedom (as Kant understands freedom) imply each other?  In your fourth paragraph, explain why the autonomy formula is necessary for (1) ensuring moral worth in actions (explain Kant’s argument) and (2) why Aw and the AF are necessary for securing unconditional, moral obligation (“duty”), i.e., why without AW and acting according to the AF, there cannot be any unconditional source of obligation (“duty”) (again, explain Kant’s argument). Part D is all on pp. 38-39.



The book required is  Immanuel kant grounding for the metaphysics of morals

Here is the link to the book:




Academic Level: Masters

Document Type: Essay

Subject Type: Philosophy

Pages: 4

Line Spacing: Double (Standard)

Font Face: Times New Roman

Citation/Style: APA


Reference: 0


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